Zeta Helps Explore Abraham Lincoln Health Mystery in National Geographic Special

Zeta-20 Optical Profiler Assists Analysis of Former President’s DNA


SAN JOSE, California, February 16, 2011 — For well over a century, there has been lingering debate surrounding the health of Abraham Lincoln and whether his unusual height and the length of his limbs were indicative of a genetic disorder that would have eventually proven fatal had he not been assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.  Preeminent author and researcher, John Sotos, M.D., and the National Geographic Channel sought to find the answer to this question by performing genetic analysis on samples of Lincoln’s blood found on rare, historical artifacts.  The research team delved into the mystery with the help of the Zeta-20, a precision 3D optical profiler manufactured by Zeta Instruments, which enabled them to take critical 3D images of these samples containing Lincoln’s DNA.

Using the Zeta-20™ optical profiler, scientists were able to obtain clear 3D visualizations of the samples to determine where to make critical dissections to maximize data return, and minimize damage to the artifacts.  The results of this investigation will be revealed in a National Geographic Channel Presidents’ Day special, “Lincoln’s Secret Killer?” airing Monday, February 21, 2011, 10 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel.

With the Zeta-20 and its patented Z-Dot™ technology, researchers can gather detailed, true-color, 3D surface information without physically contacting the sample—providing an ideal diagnostic tool for researchers and clinicians tasked with measuring fragile and often irreplaceable samples.  It requires minimal sample preparation, and combined with its ease of use, it facilitates collection of larger quantities of data, thereby enhancing the precision of conclusions drawn from such results.

Principal investigator and diagnosis expert for the documentary, Dr. Sotos stated, “The samples investigated were extremely delicate and their historical significance necessitated handling with the utmost care.  The Zeta-20 produced microscopic color 3D images with the resolution we needed to give us the confidence that we were making the most efficient dissections.  The true color aspect of the images was particularly important in assessing which parts of the samples were blood-stained.  All of this allowed us to capture the most critical information, while minimizing the physical impact of the forensic analysis on these valuable samples.”

“We are honored that Zeta made a contribution to this research effort, and especially that we helped provide material data towards the analysis of a historical figure as prominent as Abraham Lincoln,” added Dr. James Xu, chief technical officer of Zeta Instruments.

With available application-specific software packages, Zeta’s optical profilers provide imaging and measurement capabilities superior to other measurement systems in its class—delivering far better value.  Zeta offers true-color imaging, lower system cost and a simpler overall system design for high availability and low cost of ownership.  Other solutions require meticulous sample alignment and have difficulty effectively measuring deep-feature samples or rough, low-reflectance surfaces.  Scanning Electron Microscopes (SEMs) provide very high-resolution imaging but require lengthy, destructive, sample preparation and cannot provide true-color images.  To discuss how Zeta can assist your research needs contact www.zeta-inst.com/contact

About Zeta Instruments
Zeta Instruments is a leading provider of optical profiler systems that enable manufacturers of green-technology and biomedical products to substantially improve yields and quality control.  Its solutions are widely used in the development of microfluidics/biotechnology, high-brightness LEDs, solar cells, and magnetic storage media.  Zeta is a privately held company headquartered in San Jose, California.  To learn more about Zeta Instruments please visit www.zeta-inst.com

Z-Dot and the Zeta-20 are trademarks of Zeta Instruments, Inc.

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